SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Kraken are free to make trades and sign players after making their final expansion payment to the NHL.
Signed, sealed, delivered. ✅— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) April 30, 2021
On what is a monumental day for hockey in the Pacific Northwest, the #SeaKraken share their thoughts on the meaning of today & what’s next for the @NHL's 32nd franchise → https://t.co/LANabjaipd pic.twitter.com/6EgycmxXGn
Seattle owners paid $650 million to become the 32nd franchise. The Kraken begin play next season.
The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on Friday when they made the final payment of their $650 million expansion fee, allowing them to make trades and sign free agents ahead of their debut next season.https://t.co/45FDpJ3kfJ— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) April 30, 2021
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd member club,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday. “Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.”
General manager Ron Francis has been able to talk to colleagues around the league, and he and his staff have been scouting and planning for the expansion draft July 21. The final payment by ownership allows him to make official transactions, such as signing college free agents.
“Today is another momentous day on the journey to puck drop,” Bonderman said. “We have an incredible few months ahead of us.”
The Kraken are the NHL team to the AHL affiliate which will be based here in the valley. Groundbreaking for the arena is expected soon.
Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for the latest as this story develops.